Now that cancer has been removed, restore natural appearance!
SKIN CANCER TYPES
Skin Cancer Reconstruction in Houston, TX
Following the removal of skin cancer, many patients want to restore their appearance and remove the scar or deformity left behind by the cancer treatment. Dr. Olga Bachilo at Glamour Plastic Surgery and Med Spa in Houston is a specialized plastic surgeon with extensive experience in reconstructive surgery performed on patients who have had skin cancer excisions.
Causes of Skin Cancer
The cause of most skin cancer is excessive exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet or UV rays, which is known to impart damage to skin cells. Scientists agree that the free radicals in the sun’s UV rays are among the chief causes of skin cells genetically mutating into malignant cancer cells.
Skin Cancer Types
There are three most common types of skin cancer, known as basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. They are categorized as follows:
- Basal cell carcinoma is the least dangerous, but the most pervasive, type of skin cancer, although it can grow and spread quickly by gnawing away at neighboring cells and tissue as it expands, causing a sore or ulceration that may eventually pose a significant threat. When this cancer mutates and spreads, it usually becomes increasingly aggressive, growing and spreading more rapidly, and causing more severe damage, which may necessitate a more complicated treatment later on if not treated in time. This cancer usually appears and begins to develop slowly in the area of the scalp, face, neck, and ears, and may affect the chest, shoulders, arms and hands. Basal cell carcinoma accounts for approximately 75% of all cases of skin cancer.
- Squamous cell carcinoma accounts for an estimated 20% of all cases of skin cancer, and is typically less dangerous than melanoma, but pose a dangerous threat to neighboring tissue if left untreated and it can migrate to other areas of the body. Squamous cell carcinoma typically presents a far more severe threat when it affects areas with mucous membranes, including the lips, eyelids, nostrils, sexual organs, or rectum.
- Melanoma is the most aggressive form of skin cancer and can spread to other organs and body parts for instance the lungs, liver, lymphatic system, and brain. Although melanoma represents a mere 5% of all skin cancers, melanoma accounts for an alarming 75% of deaths resulting from skin cancer. Melanoma typically appears as a dark spot or lesion with rough edges, that begins to grow noticeably or changes color.
Warning Signs of Skin Cancer
If you notice any dark spots or skin lesions, moles, or birthmarks that conform to the subsequent “ABCDE” list of descriptors, these should be immediately examined by a doctor and a biopsy performed to exclude the possibility of melanoma.
A: Asymmetrical shape
B: Borders marked by irregular, jagged, or scalloped edges
C: Color that vary between tan, brown, blue, and black in the same lesion
D: Diameter that grows in size or is larger than 6 mm
E: Evolution in shape, size, color, or appearance that may include crusting, scabbing, or ulceration.
Skin Cancer Excision Surgery and Reconstruction
When skin cancer invades a relatively large area, it usually requires extensive surgery to remove the malignant lesions. This surgery may leave skin cancer deformities that are visually unappealing and may even interfere with comfort or normal functioning. Thanks to advanced skin cancer reconstructive surgery techniques, an experienced plastic surgeon can repair the affected area in order to restore its natural form, appearance, and function to a large degree.
If you are planning to have a cancerous lesion removed, speak with Dr. Bachilo beforehand to plan for your reconstruction treatment immediately following your procedure. Whenever possible, patients choose to undergo reconstructive surgery immediately or as soon as possible after excision surgery.
Planning for Your Reconstruction Surgery
Several techniques may be used in the reconstructive surgery, depending on the treatment area and condition. Dr. Bachilo will work closely with your oncology team to help you plan for your reconstructive surgery in the manner most beneficial for your condition, bearing in mind that performing the reconstruction surgery immediately may optimize healing and reduce the recovery period. Nonetheless, there are cases in which, due to a patient’s particular needs or situation, reconstruction surgery may need to be postponed or performed at a later date.
Recovery After Skin Cancer Reconstruction
Most skin cancer excisions and reconstructions are performed on an outpatient basis under local anesthesia in the comfort of the doctor’s office and requires only minimal downtime. You will receive detailed post-operative care instructions following your procedure, explaining how long you must rest, when you can resume normal activities such as bathing, and when to see Dr. Bachilo for a follow-up appointment. Recovery time will vary, depending on the severity of the original surgery and the reconstructive process, but the focus will be on protecting the wound to ensure that the suture is not subjected to injury or impact. By carefully following all of Dr. Bachilo’s post-operative care instructions, you can optimize proper healing and minimize scar formation.
If you’re undergoing a skin cancer excision procedure and want to make sure that you have a competent plastic surgeon lined up for the reconstruction surgery, contact Dr. Olga Bachilo at Glamour Plastic Surgery and Med Spa, where plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures are provided with excellence for residents of Houston and nearby areas in Texas.
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